Born in London, Len Deighton served in the RAF before graduating from the Royal College of Art (which recently elected him a Senior Fellow). While in New York City working as a magazine illustrator he began writing his first novel, The Ipcress File, which was published in 1962. He is now the author of more than thirty books of fiction and non-fiction. At present living in Europe, he has, over the years, lived with his family in ten different countries from Austria to Portugal.
Winding up the tense story begun in Berlin Game and continued in Mexico Set, Deighton's new thriller follows British intelligence agent Bernard Samson as he careens between troubled spots in Berlin and London. Bernard's recent triumph is persuading the KGB's renowned spy Erich Stennis to defect to England but, since Samson's wife Fiona has gone over to the Russians, he isn't entirely trusted by his colleagues. Now suspicions that another mole has been planted among the operatives in London exacerbate Samson's fears, mostly for his small children, if he is accused. Determined to protect himself from his own fellow workers and the wily plots of Fiona and the KGB, Samson plunges into harrowing situations, climaxing in a bloody battle which both sides claim they've won. Actually, as Samson reveals, everybody loses in the deadly game of espionage. 100,000 first printing; Literary Guild selection. January 3
'Deighton is back in his original milieu, the bleak spy world of betrayers and betrayed' Observer 'A master of fictional espionage' Daily Mail 'The poet of the spy story' Sunday Times 'Once again Deighton has woven an intricate and satisfying plot, peopled it with convincing characters and even managed to give a new twist or two to the spy story. But then he is a master of the form' Washington Post
In this conclusion to his spy trilogy, Deighton's preoccupation is defection and betrayal, just as it was in the popular earlier volumes, Berlin Game and Mexico Set. But readers need not be familiar with those books to enjoy this one. The plot centers on whether a KGB defector is actually a Soviet plant, and whether there is another Russian mole hidden high up in British Intelligence. Deighton can be a master at creating a tingly sense of deepening tension in the cold and dark of Berlin or in the equally dangerous but deceptively polite office politics of London Central. The suspense tightens steadily to the final showdown, which unfortunately is something of a disappointment. Not quite on the level of Le Carre's Smiley trilogy, with its similar themes and plot twists, but surely essential reading for all espionage fans. Literary Guild main selection. Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.